A Marginal Jew by John P. Meier
Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 4: Law and Love (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) (v. 4)

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Synopsis

John Meier’s previous volumes in the acclaimed series A Marginal Jew are founded upon the notion that while solid historical information about Jesus is quite limited, people of different faiths can nevertheless arrive at a consensus on fundamental historical facts of his life. In this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the series, Meier approaches a fresh topic—the teachings of the historical Jesus concerning Mosaic Law and morality—with the same rigor, thoroughness, accuracy, and insightfulness on display in his earlier works.

 

After correcting misconceptions about Mosaic Law in Jesus’ time, this volume addresses the teachings of Jesus on major legal topics like divorce, oaths, the Sabbath, purity rules, and the various love commandments in the Gospels. What emerges from Meier’s research is a profile of a complicated first-century Palestinian Jew who, far from seeking to abolish the Law, was deeply engaged in debates about its observance. Only by embracing this portrait of the historical Jesus grappling with questions of the Torah do we avoid the common mistake of constructing Christian moral theology under the guise of studying “Jesus and the Law,” the author concludes.

 

About John P. Meier

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John P. Meier is William K. Warren Chair Professor of Theology (New Testament), Theology Department, University of Notre Dame. He lives in South Bend, IN.
 
Published May 26, 2009 by Yale University Press. 752 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, History.

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Here, Meier portrays a Jesus movement with an incipient, concentric structure, from the crowds around him to the disciples called and instructed by him to the Twelve whom he sent on a symbolic mission to all Israel, and a set of distinctive practices: baptism, the Lord’s Prayer, open-table fellow...

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This second volume of Meier's magisterial attempt to create a ``consensus document'' about the historical Jesus on which scholars of all faiths could agree makes some tantalizing assertions about Jesus' public ministry.

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and the fleeting references in the works of Josephus, Tacitus, and other pagan and Jewish writers that constitute the entire historical record of Jesus), and an analysis of the ``Roots of the Person'' (in which Meier brings hermeneutic tools to bear on the birth, development, and early years of J...

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